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Wednesday, March 8, 2006

KUOW Broadcasted Our Debate

Posted by on March 8 at 15:10 PM

KUOW just aired the Stranger’s debate between Sims and Hutcherson.

A producer over there forwarded me a couple of the e-mails they got about it.

Subject: offensive broadcasting

I am currently listening to your offensive broadcast of the Sims vs. Hutcherson debate care of The Stranger. I am so totally offended that you would broadcast this trash. I am a proud gay man and I have been listening to Hutcherson lambasting gay people for I would estimate an hour now. What good do you think your station is doing by broadcasting this crap? All you are accomplishing is offending gay people, and worse empowering ignorant bigots who hate homosexuals. I am sure that there are many bigots today who are clapping their hands together that you aired this trash. I called your station a little while ago and the guy who answered said, “Well, we didn’t put this together; it is from The Stranger.” So essentially what he was saying is that your station has no responsibility for what is being said by Hutcherson since you didn’t put together this debate. Based upon this logic, if you come across a debate about lynching black men put together by the KKK, then you will gladly air it since you didn’t put the debate together. Oh wait, I forgot that homosexuals are the group that you care the least about offending, so I guess I will have to look forward to another offensive, ignorant, homophobic idividual on your station again real soon. You all should be ashamed of yourselves for broadcasting this debate. Congratulations for setting back gay rights in Seattle by 25 years.
Chris Nielsen

Subject: This phony debate

First of all this can in no way be characterized as a debate. Rather it was simply a showcase for a small minded bigot and bully who refused to shut up and allow his opponent to speak. Shame on the feckless Robert Mak for the pathetic job he did in moderating this debacle.

Hutcherson is a hate-monger. Jesus Christ was a love-monger. The two cannot coincidethey are simply diametrically opposing dogmas. Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus condemn anyone. How someone like Hutcherson can describe himself as being aligned with Jesus Christ is quite beyond me. Hutcherson said Jesus Christ insisted one believe in Him in order to enter Heaven, but Hutcherson clearly does not believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, as evidenced by his hate. The same hate Jesus demanded us to abandon.

Personally I have much respect and admiration for Ron Sims, but even he should have known better than to show up for battle with “Satan” not having adequately prepared. He simply allowed himself to be shouted down by the buffoon, Hutcherson.

Finally I do not want to be remiss and ignore Dan Savage, who I understand had the brilliant idea of staging this joke in the first place. This is simply another in a very long line of his misguided endeavors, which are usually nothing more than outrageous attempts at self-promotion. While I am a strong proponent of free speech, I believe there are limits to everything, and giving legitimacy to a hate-monger by allowing him a public forum clearly crosses this line. To put it into perspective, would you even consider giving this privilege to the KKK? I think the answer would be a resounding, NO!


Mark R. Scott

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Yay KUOW listeners!

i've made this argument before. but to broadcast the debate on KUOW, where there is rarely argument that is not pre-vetted, toned-down, smoothed-out, is to shock undecided listeners with the hatred that bolsters hutcherson's views. this is a good thing. in the '60s, southern KKK members would hide their faces in photographs as a means of self-protection. now it reads as shame. history will be better able to judge and condemn hutcherson, whose hubris cannot be misread.

I found the discussion interesting, though I wouldn't call it a proper debate, as it lacked any moderation whatsoever. Sims came across as thoughtful and humorous, but unprepared. Hutcherson came across as stubborn, ignorant and bullying. His responses were typical for someone stuck in the position of denying the contradiction of their beliefs.

Shame on you faggots for crying about your hurt feelings. This is the face of your enemy, and you should be glad for this opportunity to know it. You should be doubly glad that he took the opportunity to make such an ass of himself.

-- Ivan Cockrum (Yeah, I'm using my real name.)

I have to address this:

"Finally I do not want to be remiss and ignore Dan Savage, who I understand had the brilliant idea of staging this joke in the first place. This is simply another in a very long line of his misguided endeavors, which are usually nothing more than outrageous attempts at self-promotion."

I had nothing to do with the debate—except for giving it the okay. It was Josh's idea, and if it was a stunt intended to promote myself, it wasn't a very effective one. I didn't speak before or after the event. I wasn't on stage at Town Hall, or on the radio, and I did no interviews about it. It was a good idea—but it was not, sadly, my idea.

And almost a 1000 people came, so it was an idea that resonated with people, and a debate that folks wanted to hear.

The two emailers offended by the debate seem to have no understanding of the large following Hutcherson has. Both compared this to debating the KKK, but all 3 local KKK members do not really have enough influence or votes (or intelegence?) to be relevent in our community. Unfortunately, Hutcherson has a large following that cannot be ignored and makes discussing the issues he and his followers are affecting, critical to this community. Bravo to the Stranger for putting this together, bravo to Ron Sims for agreeing to defend our community's true principles against Jabba the Hutch.


I think you'd agree that the more people have a chance to hear the Good Reverend, the more they have a chance to formulate an opinion on him.

By strutting him out for a "debate" with an elected official, however, we not only did that but also legitimized his views as worthy of such treatment.

3,500 people are members of his church -- and no, that does not make any of their views "mainstream." So why did The Stranger risk treating them like they are?

The people who wrote to KUOW are such wusses. Just because you hear a view expressed on the radio that you disagree with doesn't mean you are going to melt into your shoes. Besides, are these people aware that MILLIONS OF AMERICANS BELIEVE THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS A BAD, BAD THING? People with Hutch's position on the issue are out there ALREADY. Let's have MORE debate, not LESS.

I'm with Belltowner—and I can't imagine that any of the pasty-faced liberals who listen to KUOW went from gay-rights-friendly to raving-anti-gay-bigots after listening to Hutcherson. Please.


One of the reasons I organized the debate was to bust Seattle's hermetic seal.

I gotta say, my favorite part of the debate was seeing Town Hall—typically the domain of preach to the choir, self-congratulatory liberal crowds—rocked by people who agree with Hutcherson.

It was neat to see the other half of the house—the NPR liberals—completely startled out of their comfort zone.


When U.S. citizens have a chance to vote on my sexuality, I also will be startled out of my comfort zone.

Horatios says:
"3,500 people are members of his church"

Sure, but he drew 20,000 to safeco field for a big gay-hate BBQ fest, or whatever it was, so i think we can safely say his influence goes beyond the zombies that pack the pews at Antioch church. It seems impossible but there are folks on the fence about stuff like this and i think any forum of discussion, even if poorly moderated, makes Hutcherson appear exactly as he is, an irrational, hypocritical biggot windbag.

OK, then, he's an irrational bigot with 20,000+ people who agree with his irrational bigotry. Hooray us.

This so called debate was a big surprise when I saw it on cable this am.

I had my doubts, but thought Sims would cream Rev. Ken.

Nope, the opposite. Sims did not project, seen stymied by Rev. and in general the old football roughneck come to Jesus did a job on him.

Lost in the energy and back and forth
were any real topics. That ended in the opening minutes.

If were are trying to assign non toad status on Rev. Hutch, this debate sure helped. He will now carry the banner through the anti gay campaign with even greater credibility. All he had to do to win was to hold his own- and he certainly did that.

Did I agree with him, Hell no.

In another year this match would have been a lark. This year, Rev.Ken got a lot of message time and comes out looking like the general in charge for the righties.

He also had more charisma than Sims, and that was a real surprise - telegenic they call it. Good suit, booming voice, assurance, humor, and in total control of the day. And smart enough to bring some audience. Not stupid at all.

And to all you straight assholes, why are gay folks wussy- sexitst term- if they are posting opinions that say this dogfight didn't work. Gee- I kinda think we are experts about our movement. Butt out.

would you even consider giving this privilege to the KKK?

I've made similar comparisons myself, but I have to consider this:

If the KKK drew 20,000 people to a major urban stadium to support repealing civil rights, yes, I should hope we would be willing to give them a forum if only expose them and alert the public to the dangerous popularity of the movement.

When the Hutcherson bigots constitute a fringe movement, we can ignore them. As it stands, fag hating is still pretty mainstream.

I listened to the "debate" on KUOW today, and while I think the people who wrote those emails are full-fledged fucktards, I also think that the "debate" was discouraging. I love Sims, but as a public official up there, he was hogtied, whereas whatshisface could say whatever he damn well pleased (at the top of his lungs). We needed somebody debating him who was free to speak. And the moderation? Terrible. Almost nonexistent. A decent moderator could have made it a worthwhile event.


Nonetheless, I do think it's good to have a little reminder of where the majority of voting Americans are coming from. Reinforces the urban archipelago argument, certainly. . .

Even though the man is a hatemonger, his viewpoint should be expressed. If people can deface Islam or Christianity and be encouraged, then why can't this bastard do the same with a different subject?

I agree that he's full of shit, but limiting free speech to the speech that you like makes it kind of pointless.


Christ, I get worse than Hutcherson every time I'm forced to listen to my fucking relatives.

I think this debate was stupid! What the hell did it accomplish but illistrate what everyone already knows. It was not a debate at all it was merely a showcase of two diametrically opposed viewpoints.

As a non-believer in any of the cranky, desert Sky-Gods - yahweh, jehovah, allah et al, ad nauseum - I think the big, scary "debate" missed a very large boat. A dialectic between two different interpretations of the "bible" still amounts to a rhetorical rehash of how many angels can stand on a goddamned pinhead. Why not arrange a debate between the chubby ex-football player and a Gaian, Wiccan, Odinist - anything other than another monotheist? Absent such a confrontation, Christianists get to run to their cherry-picked bible verses everytime. I don't give a rat's ass if it's "in the bible..." Stop playing by Hutcherson's rulebook.

Right on, Laurence Ballard. You hit the nail on the head (and maybe a few angels.) Sims, bless his heart, was outmatched and out-rhetoric'd most of the "debate" for precisely the reason you described. I was there and wanted to stand up and scream "We are not ALL f'ing Christians here!!"

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